Pakt or Amazon?

Hello Jay,

I was looking at purchasing your Dec 2020 Ubuntu Server and 2016 Linux Networking texts.

I’m old school. From Soviet era. So that means slide rules and text books are preferred by me. However, I can live with DRM ebooks if using a large enough monitor and a text editing soft that permits me to highlight or make notes.

How do you feel about the Pakt annual subscription. It’s actually a good deal.

Do the Pakt texts tend to come apart at the spine (as the Linux+ prep texts infamously have for years) ?

Also, thinking of adding Donnie Tevault’s Hardening Linux text along with your texts. Have you read it ?

Lots to unpack here. Sorry for that.

Best Regards

I like their annual subscription quite a bit. I actually subscribe myself. But whether or not its worth it, depends on how many of their books you consume on an annual basis. If you purchase books or ebooks throughout the year that totals more than the cost of the subscription, it’s worth it. If you only buy a few books a year, then the subscription is more expensive.

For me personally, I buy books AND subscribe. Which is probably not something anyone should do. I do so because I don’t trust online platforms, meaning the subscription is great now, but what if it goes away at some point and is discontinued? I don’t think that will happen. But then again, I also didn’t think Google Music would go away either, but here we are. So what I do is subscribe, and then buy the $5 ebooks every now and then. Some books, such as Python 3 Object Oriented Programming, are just so darn good I need to buy the print version (that book is phenomenal, btw). But since I buy the $5 ebooks when they have a deal, I’m not worried about their online platform going away - I still have the files.

But for anyone else, I recommend the subscription if you spend more than that in books. Even though I prefer to have DRM-free files (and I do have those files) usually new versions of books come out that invalidate the older ones anyway, so you can argue that DRM-free isn’t as important here based on how quickly they’re replaced.


Hello Jay. Thanks for your answers.

  1. Do the PAKT texts fall apart at the spine with normal, regular use (e.g. working chapter by chapter consistently) ?

  2. To learn Python 3, you recommend “Python 3 OOP” ?

  3. I figure your two textbooks would take the average person at least 6 months. Not unless they have a photographic memory as well as great labbing retention.

  4. Do you know anything about the Donnie Tevault Hardening Linux PAKT text ?

Best Regards

I haven’t had any issues with the spine on any of my Packt books.

For learning Python, I wouldn’t actually recommend Python 3 OOP. I recommend that book for those that have already gone through a more entry-level book, and want to solidify what they’ve learned. It’s a great book, but I felt it was more for second-level learning.

For your third question, I’m not sure I understand the 6 month thing. You won’t memorize everything, no one does. People only memorize the commands and such that they use every day. I’ve even consulted my own books to refresh myself sometimes (I’m not kidding). For example, in the book I go over keepalived, but I don’t use that every day. For the book I researched that like crazy and tested it over and over. But after the book was published, since I don’t have any systems using keepalived currently, I’d have to consult my book if I were to implement it again. So don’t focus on memorization, focus on the fun of the projects and getting things running. Through the joy you get from getting something working, that’s when learning happens. Not from forcing yourself to remember stuff, that’s how burnout and discouragement happens.

For your last question, I haven’t read that one personally. I will be doing a security series, but that’s a while out until that starts. But I did go and look at the table of contents of that book just now, and the topics seem to be the exact same that I’d recommend. It hits all the right subjects. And the reviews seem good as well. So although I haven’t read it and can’t personally attest to its quality, given the reviews and the table of contents, I think it’s safe to say that it’s probably a good one. You can go on Amazon and read some sample pages to make sure the author’s writing style is compatible with your learning style, and if it is, go for it.

Thank you for the advice. You don’t have to respond. Just letting you know I read your response and appreciate it.

If you monitor their site, Humble Bundle occasionally offers bundles of IT/programming books.

I’ve picked up 3 or 4 bundles of 15 to 30 books worth $$$$ for $15 to $25 a bundle. Everything from Linux, BSD, Python, math and databases. Last one’s I ordered were “Math For Programmers By Manning Publications” and “Programming Fundamentals by Mercury”.

Even if there are only 3 or 4 books per bundle that you like/need, the price is worth it.